National Park Service Prepares To Search Everglades For 'Lost' Ancient Settlements

Oct 15, 2014

The Anhinga Trail at Everglades National Park
Credit nps.gov / National Park Service

Archeologists are heading to the Everglades this week to look for the remnants of a Native American settlement. The National Park Service is trying to find the location of a settlement discovered back in the late 1960’s and then lost.

The Anhinga Trail is located closer to the main entrance of Everglades National Park, where tourists flock each year.

For centuries, the Everglades has been home to a wide array of plants and animals, but it has also been home to humans. In the 1968, a dredging operation of Anhinga Slough revealed artifacts like bone tools that may have been used as hunting weapons.  But Margo Schwadron with the National Park Services’ Southeast Archeological Center says both the site, and the artifacts, were eventually lost to time.

“The site didn’t get recorded as we would today," Schwadron says. "We didn’t have GPS. And we basically just have the ranger’s old field notes that talk about this discovery and we don’t know where the site was, other than what he drew on some sketch maps.”

Everglades officials now preparing to rebuild a bridge that winds through Anihinga Slough, but before any construction gets underway, the National Park Service wants to have a look at the area and see what lies beneath the water. Using the old notes and sketch maps, they’re hoping to find the site where the artifacts were originally found in 1968.

Meanwhile, the Southeast Archeological Center rediscovered the missing artifacts about seven years ago. They now reside at the Center’s Tallahassee location.